I don't think it's hugely important, close family units come in all different shapes & sizes! Its really up to you. I had very little to do with my extended family growing up. My parents were 40+ when they had me, my dad's mother and sister passed away before I was born and his father was overseas, and my mothers siblings were all 15+ years older than her so my cousins were closer to her age than mine. Nowadays I see a few of their kids (my cousins kids) but certainly not often. As a kid I did wish I had cousins the same age but it wasn't that big a deal. DD is very close to my brother and sister which I love, but neither of them plan on having kids any time soon so she won't have any cousins her own age unfortunately. Not on DPs side either. I'm confident she will be fine
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20-03-2015 17:53 #21
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20-03-2015 17:59 #22
I don't think distance means anything. Some grandparents may live two streets away and barely see/talk or interact with their grandkids.
Both DH and I had extended close family close by growing up. Our closeness with our grandparents depended more on the quality time not quantity.
We live interstate from our families in Canberra. The closest is DH's aunt about 3 hours away. My DD has a great relationship with my parents who she's anywhere between 3-8 times a year but Skypes every weekend. She loves them and they love spending time together. They make it count and they play with her all the time.
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20-03-2015 18:03 #23
For me it's hugely important and I despair frequently that not only has DS been brought into a life with a small immediate family, that I moved him away from FOB and MIL and FIL and BIL which was the only family he had. But I figure he won't know any different as it's all he has known. Also, a very wise friend told me that you can choose your family too, and this has helped me no end.
I also think though that we are fortunate to live in an age where distance isn't the tyrannical force it once was - I mean we have Skype, emails, video calls. I think you can grow up 'around' family without being in close proximity.
Based on my own experience, I would also advise against moving away from somewhere where you are happy purely to be close to family or friends unless you are sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will continue to get along, and that they will live up to your expectations regarding time spent together, priority given, etc.
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20-03-2015 19:20 #24
To me it depends on the extended family. If they're amazing loving people who share the same values as DF and I, then yes, their place in our lives is important.
But if they're not, we're better off having very little to do with them.
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20-03-2015 19:24 #25Senior Member
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Family is very important to me and I have a wonderful relationship with my extended family inspire of living hours away from them growing up.
As said in this thread, I don't believe that in order to have close relationships with extended family you necessarily have to be close distance wise.
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20-03-2015 20:19 #26
I don't think it's mega important. It would be a bonus that's for sure.
But as long as you have a tight close group of friends around you then they pretty much play the role of your chosen family
All our families are in France, so we skype a lot.
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20-03-2015 21:01 #27-
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I always had extended family around growing up so I feel the kids need it too. It's great for support too.
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20-03-2015 21:38 #28
My husband is an immigrant , so only 1 family member of his lives here. My family live far away as well.
When end I was growing up, my cousins were a big part of my life. Now they're not. And my nieces and nephews are nowhere near the age of my my kids. But, it doesn't really bother me. My kids have loads of different groups of friends and they are happy. And that's the mist important thing to me.
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20-03-2015 22:07 #29Junior Member
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- Mar 2015
Wow thank you so much everyone for the replies
Seems quite evenly mixed feelings and some very good points that has given me some things to weigh up.
My heart tells me to move, yet my head says it’s not the right path for the kid’s future in the long run. But i will never really know how much not having family around will affect them until much later. But i do feel that kids are generally happy as long as the parents are happy.
My gut tells me that my expectations won’t be met by all family members if we moved back, and that would be really disappointing since they would be my only reason for the move.
And what i mean by expectations is purely valuing family and making effort and time to get together on a regular basis and not just for birthdays etc
I don’t feel that we will ever have a huge circle of close friendships here as it is very transient where we live and people come and go too often with work.
Distance probably wouldn’t be an issue if we could get back to see family often, but it is a 14 hr drive and my Son will not fly, and obviously the cost involved as well. My Dad cant fly due to health.
I guess Skype will have to be a regular thing for now until i finally come to a decision. I’ve been thinking about this on and off for 2 yrs now, and keep going around in circles. Maybe if it was the right thing to do I wouldn’t be struggling with a decision!
Thanks again J
20-03-2015 22:08 #30
I also don't think it's important to grow up with extended family. I've found great friends with kids are more like family than some of my own. I and my kids enjoy their company more than our own families! Nothing beats catching up with friends that have the same values as us and spending our weekends with them whilst still watching our kids grow together.
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